Episode #5 | Featuring:
- Mike Maher, Benjamin’s Desk – LinkedIn | Twitter
- Kelly Straka, Lux-Living – LinkedIn | Twitter
- Shelton Mercer, TwitChange – LinkedIn | Twitter
- Jeff Danziger, Your Outsourced CFO – LinkedIn
Produced by Joe Taylor Jr.
A 2820 Press production for Benjamin’s Desk
Mike: When you’re building a start-up or any early-stage company, any small business or entrepreneur is going to encounter setbacks. The determining factor on whether or not you’re going to succeed or not is, do you have the resilience to be able to wade through the ups and the downs, keep that vision and mission at the forefront of your goals and you success, and really powering through.
Early on we were told you’re never going to be able to build a co-working space in Center City, especially not in central business district, especially not a block off Rittenhouse Square. The rents are too high, the math doesn’t make sense. Like any good entrepreneur, you need to find your luck, your own luck as being prepared when an opportunity comes your way. This building was up for sale, we got really, really good rents, and we were able to build a model that was going to work.
Kelly: Starting a business is difficult because you have to be willing to give up sleep, give up weekends, time, money, all those things. I think that was the most difficult thing, was not realizing how much actually goes into starting a business and being willing to do that for a long time.
Shelton: We’ve had investors and funders who have backed out of their commitments or couldn’t come through with them. Then sometimes you have a campaign that just doesn’t work, and so the way to bounce back is to keep the focus. What is my purpose? Maybe I’ve got to make a change. It might be time to pivot and move to something else, or I may need to weather the storm and just go through it, because ultimately we’re going to get to the other side. When you get there you’ll have more appreciation and the muscles that you have built from struggle, and like I said, maintaining that grip. That will drive you to new levels.
Jeff: I think funding is one of the biggest issues. That’s sort of the first hurdle you have to find to get over, is to get that first initial funding to really get off the ground. My first co-op struggled with that, they were pretty much closed down in two months after I left because they failed to get funding.
Mike: Looking back when people said, “You can’t put a co-working space in Center City and you got to focus on one thing,” we really looked those trends in the eye and say, “That’s not for us, we really think there’s a better way to do this.” I think we’ve been proving that model is successful.Center City West